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Carton & Roberts Score Their First Afternoon Drive Ratings Win on WFAN

“‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off ‘The Michael Kay Show’, which finished 4th with a 4.8.”

Jason Barrett

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Mark Chernoff’s final run as program director of WFAN may be coming to an end in the near future, but the longtime PD of New York’s dominant sports radio station is making sure that when he passes the baton, he’s turning over a well oiled machine with strong ratings success to whoever follows him.

The Winter Book results were released today in the big apple, and the headline that will generate the most attention throughout the industry was Craig Carton and Evan Roberts unseating The Michael Kay Show for the top spot in afternoon drive according to the Nielsen Audio ratings. ‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off Kay’s program, which finished 4th with a 4.8. Those numbers take into account both the over the air, and streaming numbers (combined audience) for both brands. The winter book reflects the ratings generated by both stations between January 7th and March 31st.

The win was an important one for the WFAN afternoon duo. It was their first full book together and it reversed a trend that saw Kay enjoy previous success against Roberts and his former partner Joe Benigno. Carton and Roberts did team up for part of the Fall 2020 book, but because they started their show on November 9th, they weren’t responsible for most of the quarter’s performance.

One additional point worth sharing, Kay’s program, which previously started at 3pm ET, has since moved up an hour to 2pm ET. That means during the spring book, we’ll see the two shows battling for audience during similar time periods. The reason that’s important, 98.7 ESPN NY got crushed during the 2pm hour in this book. Carton & Roberts smoked Max Kellerman’s national show 9.0 to 2.1, leaving Kay with ground to make up. Regardless, Carton & Roberts did what they had to do, they put WFAN back in the win column in PM drive.

In middays, WFAN had to be satisfied with the performance turned in by Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. The midday team placed 2nd overall with a 5.9 share from 10a-2p ET. During that same period, 98.7 ESPN NY received a 2.4, 16th place finish from Mike Greenberg, and a 2.9, 12th place showing from Bart Scott & Alan Hahn.

Closing things out in mornings, the WFAN powerhouse team of ‘Boomer & Gio’ led the market once again, finishing 1st overall with a 7.6. Their performance was the best of WFAN’s weekday programs for the quarter. The mixture of ESPN Radio’s ‘Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin’, and 98.7 ESPN NY’s trio of Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty, and Dave Rothenberg came in 17th between 6a-10a with a 2.6 share.

For WFAN, this has to feel good, because it’s what the station expected when it brought Carton back. Craig’s ability to create interest, entertainment, and conversation is unquestioned. The buzz around WFAN’s afternoon show has been very different because there’s a daily question of what Carton might do next. Craig’s skill combined with Evan’s insight and ability to adjust to the #2 chair, and show another side of himself that hadn’t been heard as much previously, has allowed the show to perform well, and the station to generate new momentum. With the lineup strong and in a consistent place, New York’s sports radio king is positioned to enjoy future wins.

On the other hand, 98.7 ESPN NY is paying a price for shaking up its lineup. The Michael Kay Show is still a force and has nothing to feel bad about or apologize for. Moving up an hour earlier should help them in trying to reverse the latest results, and given the show’s dynamic, they’re good enough to bounce right back next book. The bigger question is the rest of the lineup. Kay’s show is drastically outperforming everything else on 98.7’s airwaves. It does take time for new shows to connect with an audience, but national programs have always faced an uphill climb in New York City. Making matters worse, Carton & Roberts started in November and six months later they’re riding high. If ESPN New York can get their national shows to finish in the Top 10, they’d probably feel good about it because there’s money to be made if you’re ranking that high in market #1. If they continue to hover around 16th-20th though, that might create more discussions inside their Bristol and NYC offices.

Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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Sports Radio News

BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week

“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”

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BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII. 

Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.

The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.

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